You Don’t Need to Pay to File the FAFSA

March 16, 2011 | posted by College Money Insider.

FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid

The FAFSA form and the submission process can be a little confusing. There are multiple ways to file the FAFSA, including:

  • On your own at FAFSA.ed.gov
  • By attending a FAFSA workshop
  • Using school resources

We want to point out that you don’t need to pay to file the FAFSA form. The FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid – with the key word being FREE! In fact, not only is the submission process completely free of charge, but so is the support.

About Paid FAFSA Filing Services

Some FAFSA filing services will charge a fee to file the FAFSA for you, and in most circumstances, that is unnecessary. In fact, FAFSA.com is actually a paid FAFSA filing service – they provide assistance in filing the FAFSA for you, but it costs money. Sometimes, people confuse FAFSA.com for the actual FAFSA site – make sure you don’t make that mistake!

There are also financial aid experts or tax professionals that charge a fee to assist you with filing the FAFSA. Only you can determine whether or not you really need such services; if your financial situation is particularly complex, you may need professional advice. However, we suggest that you ask for a free consultation first to determine whether paid support is necessary for you.

What If You Need Additional Support?

If you need extra support in filing the FAFSA, there are many resources available to you. Often times, your college’s financial aid office will assist you and answer your questions. Additionally, some high schools and communities frequently hold FAFSA nights or financial aid assistance events. We have an Ask the Experts form that you can use to submit questions and we will do our best to help you out or direct you to another resource.

The FAFSA.ed.gov site itself (where you file the FAFSA) offers a great support system for you, and there is a number you can call if you need additional help.

We urge you to get as much support as you can using the resources we’ve listed, but please know that you do not need to pay for the FAFSA or pay to have someone help you.

Also, remember that Federal financial aid is first-come, first-served. If you haven’t filed your FAFSA form yet, you need to do so ASAP!

If you have any questions, please let us know.